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How To Pay Off Debt When You Have No Money

Are you wondering how to pay off debt with no money to your name? According to Pew Charitable Trusts, 80% of Americans carry some form of debt, so you are not alone. 

It’s hard to come up with a way to pay off your debt when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Even if you get an annual raise, it still doesn’t seem to help. Here’s the thing, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you keep.

How To Get Out Of Debt With No Money

You have to have a plan to manage your money, or you’re always going to be broke. It’s true that having a higher income can make it easier, but I’ve known doctors, and lawyers that have ended up broke because they didn’t have a plan for their money.

No matter where you’re at now financially, there’s a way to get where you want to be. You don’t have to be a financial genius, but you do have to be willing to take action to conquer your debt.

How To Pay Off Debt Fast With A Low Income

A low income won’t prevent you from getting out of debt. But you will probably need to incorporate a way of making some extra money while cutting your expenses.

Don’t be discouraged though, you can still get out of debt. I’ll give you some tips to speed up the process, and you’ll still get to have fun along the way.

Keep your eye on the prize; the feeling that you get when you’re debt-free is definitely worth the effort!

How To Pay Off Debt With No Money When Your Income Is Average or High

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Achieving your financial goals is easier if you have a decent income. You can probably get out of debt by making a few cutbacks and creating a budget. However, if you have a large amount of debt, you might want to consider picking up a temporary side hustle until you meet your goals.

Create A Plan To Pay Off Your Debt

Everyone will have a different plan to show them how to pay off debt with no money; you will have to create something that works for your situation. To create this plan, you’ll need motivation, awareness, a positive mindset, and tools to keep you organized and on track.

We’ll cover each step of your plan and the things that you will have to do if you want to be successful at paying off your debt.  The plan will set you up for permanent success so that you’ll never have to struggle with debt again!

Step 1: Motivation

Motivation To Get Out Of Debt

Think about WHY you want to get out of debt. Maybe you want to buy a big house, or just fall asleep at night without worrying about paying your bills.

Whatever your reason, you need to stay focused while you’re working your way to financial freedom. There are CEOs of million-dollar companies, professional athletes, and students of Ivy League schools that use visualization to achieve their goals.

Some people even create visualization boards. Create a board with pictures of the new house you want, or a vacation that you want to take.

Step 2: Awareness

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. Step 2 is about making a list of all of your debts and tracking your spending for a full month.

If you prefer pen and paper, you can go to my resource page and print out a debt tracker and budget sheet. Look at all of your loans and credit card bills, use the debt tracker to write down the total amount you owe on each one.

Next, keep track of every dollar you spend for one full month. Carry a notebook with you, take pictures of receipts with your phone, whatever you have to do to keep track. At the end of the 30 days, add it all up and list it by category on the monthly budget sheet.

If you prefer to use your smartphone or computer to track your expenses, there are countless apps available. I use the Accounts2 check register app to track my spending. Do not skip this step; you need this information to create a budget that will show you how to pay off debt with no money!

When you’re tracking every dollar you’ll become aware of exactly where you’re money is going. When I tracked our spending for the first time, I was shocked at the amount of money we were spending on food.

Just being aware was the first step to help me make changes. Not keeping track of spending is one of the biggest reasons that people are broke and don’t know how to pay off debt with no money.

Step 3: Positive Mindset

Stay Positive To Pay Off Debt
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When your income is low, it’s hard to believe that it’s even possible for you to get out of debt. But positive thinking makes it easier to take the action necessary to pay off debt and increase wealth.

Start by being grateful for your current situation. Maybe you have a job that doesn’t pay a lot, but that’s better than being unemployed, so be thankful for the job you have. No matter how small, find something positive about your current financial situation and be grateful.

Watch what you say. Stop saying things like I am in debt and have no money, or I’ll never make enough money.Bring your positive mindset to life by saying aloud the things that you want to happen.

For instance, say things like “I am wealthy,” or “I make great financial decisions.” If your negative, defeated, and don’t believe that you’ll succeed, then you won’t. You need to take this step seriously, positive words, positive thoughts, and you’ll be debt-free before you know it. You can do this; this is how to pay off debt with no money!

Related: The 7 Best Finance Podcasts

Step 4: The Necessary Tools To Pay Off Your Debt

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Create A Budget

If you’ve never created a budget before that’s ok, it might take three months or so to get it perfect, it’s a learning process.

If you decide to use a pen and paper to create a budget, you can download a monthly budget sheet for FREE from my resource page. There are plenty of budgeting apps you can use too.

Now start filling in your budget sheet. Add up your monthly take-home pay from all sources of income and list this under “total monthly income.” Next, list all of your regular bills, mortgage or rent, insurance, car payments, and utilities and list the amount due for the upcoming month.

Now list the other expenses like food, gas, and entertainment. If you’re not sure about the amounts you should record, use the amounts from the bill tracking that you did for a month in step 2.

Now total up all the expenses and subtract them from your total income. If you have money left over you can use this money to start paying down your debt. If you don’t have money left over, that’s ok; we’ll work on that in the next step.

Start paying extra on your smallest debt first, when it’s paid off, move onto the next lowest debt. You want quick wins here to stay motivated.

Earn Extra Income

If you didn’t have any money left over to start paying down your debt or if you want to speed up the process you need to create some additional income.

One thing you can do for some quick cash is to sell some stuff. Most everyone has things around the house that they don’t need or want anymore. If you’re already down to the bare bones, here are some ideas for finding things to sell as well as how to sell them.

Consider getting a part-time job delivering pizzas or cutting grass. Take surveys online to make money while you’re watching tv or waiting in line at the store. Try one of these things to create additional income streams.

Look for a higher paying job or a work from home job that doesn’t require you to spend additional money commuting to and from work. Consider asking for a raise at your current job.

Save More Money

Look for more ways that you can save money on things like food and gas. Try these creative ways to pay off debt and save money.

Final Thoughts On How To Pay Off Debt With A Low Income

Remember, it’s not how much money you make, it’s about creating a plan and sticking to it. You can make a six-figure income and still be broke if you don’t know how to manage your money.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to get out of debt and create wealth; you just have to have the right mindset and the desire to make it happen. A lack of income doesn’t have to keep you from your goals, work your plan and you’ll get there!

If your family is not on board with getting out of debt, here are some tips to get them motivated.  Have you figured out how to pay off debt with no money yet? Leave me a comment below and let me know when you’re debt-free. I can’t wait to hear your story.

Even If You're Broke You Can Still Get Out Of Debt


  1. I am 70 yo, mobility impaired and disabled. I live on my social Security alone and had to use credit cards to pay my secondary insurance, which cost me $500/month. It pays for my 20+ medications, so I can’t just drop it, and thankfully I have Medicare.
    I am not eligible for Medicare supplements, because i have multiple pre=existing illnesses for which I have been rejected.

    What are my options, as I would really rather not have to file Bankruptcy? Thanks,

    1. Lucy, thanks for reaching out to me, I wish I could help you. I suggest you reach out to a financial advisor who can evaluate your individual situation. I think this is too big of an issue to be answered here.

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